Katherine Driver - Director of Guidance and Counseling
Ms. Driver has spent the last six years working as a school counselor in the American International School of Rotterdam and at Gray-New Gloucester High School, where she has been the Director of Guidance. She grew up in southern Maine and pursued a BA in psychology at Skidmore College, and then a Master of Science in Counseling at the University of Southern Maine.
Working with students from diverse backgrounds, Ms. Driver emphasizes helping young people plan for their lives beyond high school and college: “My hope is that all students will leave high school with the skills to make healthy decisions in many areas of their lives,” Ms. Driver says. “I like to help students feel empowered.” She has helped hundreds of students navigate the college admissions and financial aid process. Her approach involves creating a four-year academic plan with students, as well as working with them to develop necessary skills, such as writing college essays and interpreting test scores. Many of her students have participated in dual-enrollment programs at local colleges and universities to earn college credits while still in high school. She has also advised students interested in other post-secondary opportunities, including AmeriCorps, gap year programs, vocational training, and military options.
As schools nationwide begin the transition to standards-based grading, Ms. Driver has already been instrumental in working toward a proficiency-based transcript and diploma. She has created master schedules, working to ensure all of her students’ credits are in order for graduation.
To provide targeted support for struggling students, she works closely with teachers, parents, and administrators, and she has deep experience coordinating necessary referrals to alternative education programs and resources. She takes a proactive approach to individual and small-group counseling, as well as academic and crisis intervention.
Ms. Driver says, “I like a challenge. I believe in public education, but I also believe that continuing to do the same thing and expecting different results is madness. I’m ready to try something different. Baxter Academy's student-centered environment, collaboration between faculty, parents, and students, and passion for learning are inspiring, and I'm very excited to be a part of the community.””
Fun facts about Ms. Driver: She plays bass in various bluegrass ensembles and is learning to play old-time banjo. She likes to cook, boogie board, and tend to her urban garden. “I am most excited about my tomatillo plant,” she says, “but I keep that quiet because I don't want the other veggies to get jealous.”
Laurie Medeiros - Guidance Counselor
Ms. Medeiros comes to Baxter from Gray-New Gloucester HIgh School where she was the director of guidance. She earned her M.S. in Counseling at the University of Southern Maine and her B.A. in Theatre and Creative Writing at Hampshire College.
Ms. Medeiros was drawn to Baxter’s student-centered approach to learning: “I believe students learn the most when they feel a sense of ownership around their learning. When students can identify their own interests and then find the support and resources they need to purse them, they are well on their way to creating the most challenging, engaging, and rewarding academic careers. The skills they learn in doing this are essential outside of high school, as well, and become the foundation of lifelong learning and growth. I'm delighted to be at Baxter and seeing that process play out for our students every day!“
Ms. Medeiros has a strong knowledge of proficiency-based curriculum and presented her work at the Maine Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. Her experience includes work as a Civil Rights Team Leader and counselor for at risk students. “Helping students in transition - whether into or out of high school, or in other moments of their lives - is a major part of being a school counselor and is something I love to do,” Ms. Medeiros says. “ I think young people are best served by helping them help themselves so they can develop the skills they need to enjoy and be successful in school, on the job, or anywhere in their lives. I am constantly amazed by the unique strengths each student has, and am honored to be a part of helping them grow.”
Fun Fact: Ms. Medeiros is a playwright in her spare time, and enjoys having her plays produced and participating in the vibrant local theater community. At Hampshire College as an undergraduate she created my own program of study, which culminated in a full-length play about Benjamin Rush, one of the founders of American psychiatry.